SIOUX CITY - Fort Dodge's fearless road-warrior mentality on the gridiron told the whole story again here Friday night.
Sioux City North proved to be the latest Dodger victim.
Despite a sluggish start, Matt Miller's unbeaten and seventh-ranked (Class 4A) Dodgers (3-0 overall) notched their second consecutive resounding victory away from their home turf, thumping the winless Stars (0-3) by a lopsided 43-14 final inside Elwood Olsen Stadium.
"I was disappointed in how we came out and performed in the first quarter," said Miller. "We played exactly like we practiced this week and weren't very sharp with our execution.
"In the second quarter, we finally did some things we're capable of doing and looked much better after that. Now, we've got the first three games out of the way and have to move on."
Following a scoreless opening period that featured a punt, three penalties, and a fumble deep in enemy territory, FDSH finally broke through when senior Levi Peters called his own number and dashed untouched up the middle 14 yards to paydirt. From there, the Dodgers began to run circles around the seemingly invisible North Star defense, as they tacked on four more insurance scores before the intermission, including three in the final 1:35.
"That was just a great ending to the half," Miller said. "We have an explosive and quick-strike offense, and our guys really showed it there late."
Peters connected on a 36-yard touchdown strike with classmate Willie Williams and found senior Darreus Caston in the left corner of the endzone from 28 yards out just over a minute later.
After forcing a North fumble on their ensuing drive, Fort Dodge was right back in business and used a booming school-record 48-yard field goal by junior Ty Littzen to balloon their advantage to 30-0 at the break.
"I was a little worried kicking in that situation because there are a lot of things that can possibly go wrong," Miller said. "I've seen Ty make (field goals) from that distance in practice before but never in games.
"He kicked the heck out of it."
Fort Dodge's balanced assault racked up 251 yards of total offense - 129 rushing and 122 passing - in the first half, while limiting the Stars to only one yard on 13 rushing attempts. The Stars went three-and-out on four of their six possessions in the half, managed just one first down, and punted five times.
A pair of Jontel Clayton touchdown jaunts from 21 and 11 yards out, respectively, along with a Littzen PAT supplied the final points of the contest for the Dodgers.
On the evening, the Dodgers accumulated 424 yards of offense and 13 first downs.
Clayton, a 190-pound senior, ignited the Fort Dodge ground charge - which generated 263 yards on 38 totes - with 159 yards on 23 carries. The Dodgers have now outscored their first three opponents by a whopping margin of 121-23.
"I thought Jontel ran the ball awfully hard," said Miller. "Even when the holes weren't there, he still found a way to pick up positive yardage."
Caston (6 attempts, 53 yards) and Peters (7-42) were the other top rushers for the Dodgers.
Peters also went 7 of 11 through the air for 122 yards- all coming in the first half.
Senior linebackers Will Kenny, Mark Wilson and lineman Ethan Bartlett all contributed sacks for Fort Dodge.
"Our kids have to be excited and embrace the challenge of playing one of the best teams in the state next week," said Miller. "We're obviously going to have to step up our level of play and execute much better to give ourselves a chance."
The Dodgers visit top-ranked Dowling (4-0) in a showdown on Friday. The Maroons whipped Urbandale last evening, 52-0.